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The glass-and-steel structure—designed for a well-hidden retreat in the southern Bavarian Alps—is covered with 1,550 loosely arranged planks of local silver fir.

— by Florian Heilmeyer: Hotel Kranzbach is a well-hidden retreat in the southern Bavarian Alps, right at the border with Austria. The hotel’s main building, situated on a giant 32-acre meadow surrounded by dark coniferous woods, is an Arts and Crafts–style structure designed by British architects Detmar Blow and Ferdinand Billerey and built from 1913 to 1915. (Their client was a wealthy English aristocrat, Mary Isabel Portman.) Throughout history, the building has experienced multiple uses, but since 2007 it’s been known as “The Kranzbach,” a hotel that specializes as a wellness retreat for stressed-out urbanites. It’s also very silent place: There are no neighbors or traffic, and children under the age of 12 are not allowed. There isn’t much to do, but that’s the idea: relaxation to the utmost degree. Given all the quiet, it seems all the more fitting that the hotel’s latest addition is a meditation house…

Image courtesy of Anneliese Kompatscher

April 30, 2019